Sex was what created your beautiful baby but once they arrive it’s one of the last things on our mind. We’re knackered. Mums spend all day giving their physical all to their baby’s care and come nighttime all we want to do is sleep. Sometimes, for mums, the very thought of our partner touching us is a turn off instead of a turn on. For new dads feeling like they’re at the back of the queue in terms of physical intimacy, it can be pretty tough too. But intimacy and sex is what strengthens bonds in a relationship. Without it you end up feeling more like friends than lovers. Which is why we have put together some top tips on how to adapt, overcome and keep the spark alive after having a baby.
Intimacy is as important as sex
If you’ve spent all day as a mum breastfeeding and cuddling your baby it’s understandable that you want some peace and rest. The thought of any more demands on your body from your partner are less than desirable. But intimacy is still important for you to bond as a couple. If you’re struggling to get back on track with your sex life then the most important thing you can do is take the pressure off altogether, without ignoring the need to be together. Instead make times to be together physically but focus on intimacy rather than sex. You can even make it a rule that you won’t have sex but will just hug and touch and enjoy the feeling of being together. If sex isn’t the end goal then intimacy can be more enjoyable. And if one thing leads to another then it’s great. But taking the expectations and the pressure off each time you will be intimate as a couple can work wonders to keep the spark alive.
Quickies are your friend
Babies and kids throw a complete spanner in the works and your usual routines get scrapped. You might have been used to having sex before you fell asleep or first thing in the morning but now either or both these times have been hijacked because they are the times when your child needs you most. Switch things up a little. A fab way to keep the spark alive is to grab a quickie when your baby naps or during the odd mid evening hours when they sleep. Make the most of opportunities to be alone and be together. Just remember to lock the door.
Shower or bath time
Each day your partner will have a bath or a shower. And they will be naked while they do. If your baby is sleeping then grab your chance to join them and have some time together.
Be strict on bedtimes
Once your baby is a little older insist on strict bedtimes so you and your partner can have the evenings together. You’re probably not going to swing from the chandeliers every night but if you can carve out time for each other in the evenings, so you can snuggle up and talk for a while. That little bit of time can help you remember why you’re so awesome as a couple. It can help you feel more in the mood to get intimate and the time spent connecting can help keep the spark alive.
Build a babysitting circle
It’s hard to carve out time for date nights out or quiet nights in once you become parents. And getting a babysitter is expensive. A great way round this is to start up a babysitting circle with your parent friends. Take it in turns to sit for each other and give each other some much needed nights off parenting duties. Just spending time together can help you remember why you’re so great as a couple and can bring back some intimacy.
Mums, learn to love your body
Women’s bodies change after pregnancy and birth. There are stretch marks and wobbly bits and mum tums and it’s all too easy to feel fed up and lose body confidence. Remember that your body has done an incredible thing by growing and delivering your baby. Try to love your new body in all its postpartum glory. Don’t think of stretch marks as fat marks, think of them as your tiger stripes. Don’t think of your mum tum as a flabby bit, think of it as a reminder of the home you gave your growing baby. Stop hating your body and start accepting it and loving it for all it has achieved.
Take time for yourself
One of the greatest barriers to sex after babies is that parents feel spent and exhausted by the physical and mental demands of looking after their babies all night and day. Mums especially can often feel like they just don’t have anything more to give and want a bit of time to themselves. Take it. Carve out that time. Whether it’s just a quick walk, a pampering bath or a night out with friends, grab time to yourself and you will probably find that you feel rejuvenated.
Make time for each other
Not just for sex but to communicate. Send each other texts throughout the day. Make time to really say Hello when you are reunited at the end of the day and have a hug and ask each other about your day. Find little moments to chat, to flirt, to hug and to laugh. Even if it’s just while you’re both washing the dishes. When one parents stays at home with the baby and the other goes to work, your days and lives can become very separate. Finding time to talk and connect can bridge the gap. The more you talk, the closer you’ll feel and the more likely you are to want to be together and make time for each other.
A lot of couples find it hard to keep the spark alive after children. We give our everything to our kids, and love them to the moon and back. However the exhaustion, the stress and the lack of time can mean that you both take a backseat. Remember that you matter too. Looking after each other, remembering who you are as a couple and keeping things exciting, can help you become happier as partners as well as as a family. Carve out that time just to talk and connect with each other. You both deserve it.